Re: Defining "transhumanism", a new suggestion

Bernard Hughes (
Tue, 20 Oct 1998 22:34:43 -0230

Max More wrote:

> 1. Any system or way of thought or action concerned with the rational use
> of science, technology, creativity, and other means to overcome human
> limitations by extending maximum lifespan, augmenting intelligence, and
> enhancing humans physically and psychologically.
> 2. The intellectual and cultural movement that shares with humanism a
> commitment to human progress especially through applied reason rather than
> faith; it differs from humanism in affirming the possibility and
> desirability of fundamentally altering the human condition for the better,
> such as by using technology to eliminate aging and greatly enhance human
> intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.

Without wanting to contribute yet another redefinition, I'd note that "human" has both a singular and collective meaning. The focus so far has been on the effects of technology on individual humans. Won't the effects on our collective intelligence and capabilities will be just as significant? I can imagine a transhuman future in which our clear individual boundaries, defined by biological bodies, seem rather quaint. Some transhumans may be descendants of what were several individuals in our era, or even components of different individuals. Max's definitions seem to leave that wider possibility open, but the examples apply to individuals.

I think for a dictionary definition however, the focus on the individual possibilities is the right one.


Bernard J Hughes
Timedancer Systems
 -- Creative Laziness at its best --